Funding for PhD student visit

Posted in Seminar/Conference by Julyan Arbel on 16 May 2011

I would like to advertize an opportunity for PhD students to go and visit other universities, in France or abroad. It is supported by the Fondation Sciences Mathématiques de Paris. The only condition for being eligible is to be affiliated to a department which is member of the Fondation (which is the case for most of the Parisian universities). The selection is done by written application, which consists in the program of the project, and cover letters from the supervisor and the host researcher. The grant is great because it covers fees for transportation and accommodation for stays up to three months.

I benefited from it to go twice to Bocconi University in Milan. It is a good experience to spend some time abroad during the PhD and to work with different people. Last week there was two nice presentations here. One by Yee Whye Teh, from UCL, about Frangmentation-Coagulation Processes with applications to genetics, and one for the local PhD student seminar by Maria-Anna di Lucca about Autoregressive Dependent Dirichlet Processes. I shall also go and visit (pretty-soon-Doctor) Bernardo Nipoti in the nearby Università de Pavia this week.

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Running R on an iPhone/iPad with RStudio

Posted in R by Julyan Arbel on 3 May 2011

This thread has been widely discussed on a lot of forums. To make a long story short, running natively R on an iDevice (meaning iPhone/iPad) is disabled by its OS, unless it is jailbroken. The steps for the installation through Cydia are described in this R wiki, or this post. But there are some limitations, including bugs in package management. Running R directly seems not to be the more sensible way to proceed: smartphones lack so much power for that, you would do it just for fun. Typing R code on a small keyboard is quite tedious. But is manageable on a larger one (iPad, Galaxy Tab).

There could be another short-term solution to use R on an iDevice (or any other smartphone). As explained on this introduction to RStudio, the novel IDE can be launched directly on the Web, while running on a server. This would be an easier and safer solution than jailbreaking the mobile, which would have a number of benefits, including: the ability to access and share your files from anywhere (with an Internet connection), to benefit from more powerful computing resources (of your server), and to focus on a single configuration of R (for packages).

But there is a but, because the RStudio development team is still working on it. It is close to working (it is possible to click on tabs and menus) but not yet possible to get the keyboard to initialize and to type in the console. Yet executing the code can be done by clicking on Run line(s)+Enter. It is not a lot for now, but is a good start.

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